Does your workplace offer free food at meetings, events or in the common area? Turns out that all of this free food can be adding about 1,300 empty calories to your week!
A one of a kind study in the USA analyzed the food and beverage choices of over 5,000 employees who either purchased food from on-site vending machines or the cafeteria, or obtained food for free in common areas, at meetings or at workplace social events. The preliminary results, presented at last month’s meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, found that nearly 25% of the employees obtained food from work at least once a week which added up to almost 1,300 calories by the end of the week. The bad news is that the food and beverages tended to be high in empty calories which contain little to no nutrition. Even worse news is that over 70% of the calories consumed came from free food that was offered in the workplace such as pizza, soda, cookies, brownies, cake and candy.
About 87% of Canadian employees have personal goals to eat healthier foods. Workplaces can play a huge role in helping employees eat better and improve their food habits. Start by creating a workplace healthy eating policy to ensure access and availability of healthy options in foodservice, vending machines and at workplace meetings / events. We can assess your current offerings and help you build and implement a winning workplace healthy eating policy that will boost productivity and performance! Contact us here or at info@NutritionForNonNutritionists.com for more details and / or to book an inspiring workplace wellness presentation for your team.
Athletes of all ages are turning to these beverages for hydration. What’s the difference?
Overall, unsweetened coconut water has fewer calories, carbohydrates and sodium than a typical sports drink. For general hydration, coconut water is fine. Look for the brands with no added sugar.
However compared to sports drinks, coconut water has too much potassium and not enough sodium or carbohydrates for optimal hydration during and after exercise / competitions.
According to the Dietitians of Canada, sports drinks may be beneficial if you:
– exercise hard for at least 1 hour
– exercise at high intensity (e.g. soccer, hockey, basketball)
– sweat a lot / have salty sweat
– wear a lot of protective gear or equipment such as for hockey or football
– train or exercise in the heat and humidity
– need to replace fluids and energy quickly such as during hockey tournaments
– train or exercise more than once a day.
Nutrition is a relatively young science with new research constantly emerging. The recent headline about coffee and cancer is a good example of this.
Twenty-five years ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) had identified coffee as a possible carcinogen linked to bladder cancer. On June 15, 2016, the WHO updated their advice.
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is an international working group of 23 scientists, reviewed 1000 scientific studies, and found that drinking coffee and maté (a tea made from the dried leaves of the yerba mate plant) is not linked to cancer. In fact, coffee may be protective against cancers of he liver and uterine endometrium.
The new findings however do see a connection between high-temperature beverages and their potential link to cancer. According to the WHO, drinking beverages (even water) that are very hot – which is defined as anything above 65°C (149°F) – is linked to a higher risk of cancer of the esophagus. It’s thought that the hot temperature scalds the delicate tissue in the esophagus. This damage may then trigger a faster turnover of the cells which in some cases can lead to out of control malignant growth.
Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide with the highest incidence in Asia, South America, and East Africa where drinking very hot beverages is common. Maté is traditionally consumed at very hot temperatures (70°C). Certain countries such as China and Iran also tend to drink their teas prepared at very high temperatures, above 65°C or 70°C.
It’s likely that your favourite hot drink from the coffee/tea shop is made at very hot temperatures. Here are my tips for enjoying your hot cuppa:
– Allow your hot drink to cool down a bit before taking that first sip.
– Add some milk or cream to lower the temperature of your hot drink.
– Brew your own tea using hot but not scalding hot water.
– Stick to four cups of coffee or less (4 x 8 ounces or 4 x 250 mL) – any more will put you over your daily caffeine limit.